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  • Candidate Dan Dromarsky

    This thread is to ask questions of Candidate Dan Dromarsky – Mayor.

    All members are asked to allow the Candidate to post first in his or her thread. This is to allow the Candidate ample opportunity to introduce their background, platform, and any other information they may feel is pertinent to this discussion.

    All decorum expected of members in the C2E Ask Forums will be expected here. An addendum is that posters may ask as many questions as they wish, but they are also politely asked to follow any instructions on posting or reply timelines that the Candidate expresses.

    Thank you to all for participating in the 2010 Connect2Edmonton Election Forum!
    Ow

  • #2
    Thank you. My name is Dan Dromarsky and I am running for mayor in the upcoming October 18,2010 election.
    Having been born and raised in Edmonton I have had the privilege of being a resident of Edmonton my entire life. Married with 3 children and my wonderful wife Jennifer expecting our 4th child in December I know what it is like to raise a young family in a busy growing city. Being a life long Edmontonian I have grown and matured over the years alongside my favorite city. Having been in sales/business for the past 10+ years, I know this has given me the experience necessary to work with council to make Edmonton an even better place to live and visit.

    As Mayor I will push for:

    LRT Expansion- This must be done. We are years behind Calgary and other cities in Canada. We need to build in a fiscally responsible manner, minimizing the impact to commuter traffic and the residents near the LRT lines. We must have forward thinking that will promote the use of across city travel on the LRT.

    Winter Plan - Edmonton is a winter city and it is about time that we handle our snow removal like a winter city. We should be pros at removing snow and maintaining our roads. But the sad reality is that we are not. Our sidewalks and streets are falling apart all over the city and we have a huge job ahead to repair them due to a lack of proper maintenance. Infrastructure and safety should be our first two concerns as a city before anything. As Mayor I plan to work with council to make sure we put a strategic plan and realistic winter budget in place to be a leader in dealing with winter weather and winter roadways. We need to look at other cities and see what best practices we can introduce to Edmonton but also see what best practices we can improve to be a leader that other cities will look to as the example. Winter comes every year in our city and we should be ready for it every year not crippled by it.
    • I want to keep our communities clean and safe for everyone of all ages.
    • Be a spokesperson for all of Edmonton. To promote our City with a clear vision for many years to come.
    • Help build a new arena for our Hockey team and support sports teams / programs throughout the city
    To see more info please visit my website at www.danformayor2010.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Mr. Dromarsky, thank you. Let me ask you the same questions I have asked Mr. Mandel.

      1. Sprawl. Do you agree it is becoming or will become unsustainable? If so, how do you propose controlling it?

      2. Transit. (a) LRT. Can you see any alternative funding models for LRT construction beside federal and provincial grants? How do you feel about formal bond issues, public-private partnerships, and fund-raising through dedicated user fees such as road tolls or property-tax surcharges, perhaps on a per-neighbourhood opt-in basis similar to what has been used for back alley pavement? (b) Bus service. Are you in favour of an integrated regional transit board, and if so under what conditions?

      3. Urban preservation. (a) What priority do you place on maintaining services, including schooling and public recreation, within the city core? Schools being the responsibility of the EPSB, are you willing to use any moral or financial leverage the city may have to keep inner-city schools open? And if maintenance of recreational services in the core is an issue, how do you react to alternative funding models such as user fees or partial privatization? (b) What are your thoughts on the glut of empty space downtown and around it? Are you in favour of concrete steps such as adjustment of tax regime to minimize it and to encourage specifically residential use?

      4. Policing. How well do you feel the EPS have responded to the past controversies regarding police openness and transparency? Do you feel there is still room for improvement? How do you see the role of mayor as a member of council and as a member of the police commission?

      5. General role as mayor. Obviously the mayor is but one voice on council. What do feel is the primary role of the city's nominal chief executive -- is it to promote the city for external investment and involvement, or is it leading the effort to improve its features within its borders?

      6. Assuming every mayor's vision is to leave the city a better place than it was when first elected mayor, how would you describe the vision of a better Edmonton that would leave you satisfied in the end?

      ---

      PS I apologize for so many questions, and thank you for the time taken to consider them.

      Comment


      • #4
        Mr. Dromarsky,

        Thanks for taking the time to participate on this community. I apologize in advance for so many questions.

        1. With the current LRT lines proposed for NAIT, the West End, and to Millwoods, do you think the city is on the right track, so to speak, with the alignments, the choice of using low-floor trains for the West and Millwoods lines, etc?

        2. You say we need to build LRT in a more fiscally responsible manner; what are your ideas on how to do this? Do you feel the city has not been fiscally responsible in planning or building LRT to date, and why?

        3. What do you think of transit service in general? Do you think it is sufficient as it is, or in what ways do you think it could be improved?

        4. What are your thoughts on cycling infrastructure in Edmonton? Is the plan for improving it sufficient in your opinion? What other initiatives do you think could be taken for improving Edmonton for cyclists, and for encouraging more people to take to cycling?

        5. What are your thoughts on infill development and densification? What are your thoughts on the Strathearn or Glenora redevelopments, for example?

        6. Similarly, do you have thoughts or ideas about how to slow the outward growth of the city?

        7. I would like to hear your ideas on the homeless problem facing our city. What do think needs to be done to ameliorate this problem?

        8. What are your thoughts on school closures in mature neighborhoods? I'd like to know what you think council can do to reverse this trend and help bring families back to and keep them in these neighborhoods.

        9. Your platform page on your website says "The City Centre Airport is an issue that matters to the majority of Edmonton’s citizens" - if this is true, then why do you think Envision Edmonton was unable to secure the minimum 10% of valid signatures required? That to me says that the majority of Edmontonians either support the decision to close, or don't feel that the issue is important enough to them (it's not like it was hard to find a petitioner). Do you not feel that this is a sign that it is time for the city to move on to more important issues concerning citizens and our future?

        10. More generally and broadly, what is your vision for Edmonton? What should we as a city focus on in order to get ourselves there?

        Thanks again for taking the time to answer.
        Last edited by RTA; 23-09-2010, 09:34 AM.
        Strathcona City Separatist

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you for participating in the C2E election forum, Mr. Dromarsky.

          I have a few questions:

          1) You speak of LRT expansion. Is LRT expansion the extent of your desired public transit reforms, or is expanded bus service and extended service hours also on your agenda? If so, what are your plans for Edmonton Transit as a whole? Regardless of your transit plans, how do you plan to efficiently and effectively fund public transit growth?

          2) You're a strong advocate of keeping the City Center airport open. If elected and, for whatever reason, you cannot keep the airport open, what do you propose be done with the land? Note this question is not a demand you abandon your view on the airport.

          3) What are your thoughts on and plans for the river valley parks system? Elaborate as much as possible.
          Last edited by langis; 23-09-2010, 09:52 AM.
          http://orbisaetherum.com — My story podcast. Take a listen!

          Comment


          • #6
            Hello Dan

            Thank you for participating on this forum

            I have seen that you are an advocate for the city center airport and I am assuming that you endorse the use of plebicite on this issue being that this is a "major issue" for the city.

            My question isn't regarding the airport but the use of plebiscite. Do you feel that all major issues should go to a public vote and if so, what do you define as "major issues"?

            Thank you for time time
            Last edited by Edmcowboy11; 23-09-2010, 09:58 AM. Reason: typos
            LRT is our future, time to push forward.

            Comment


            • #7
              1. Sprawl - Edmonton has always been a city that has been expanding in all directions. As our population grows, people require more space. I believe that the city should be more responsible in handling the use of outerlying land and how it will be zoned, whether it be commercial, industrial or residential. How we zone our communities sets a blueprint for how they will develop with respect to density. It's important for the city to be careful on how they write that blueprint in order to create sustainable communities. As mayor I'd like to make existing neighborhoods safe and welcoming so that people who are in the real estate market consider buying an older home. This in turn will help to keep schools open and slow down the urban sprawl. I believe this can be done by implementing better infrastructure and safety measures, such as keeping sidewalks and roads in good repair, and working with police and community leagues to ensure safety. Even things such as updating older playgrounds can make a neighborhood more appealing for everyone.
              2. Public Transit: I think the idea of having private-public partnerships allows individuals or businesses to help fund some of the expansion on LRT that is so desperately needed in our city. We have to be careful on how we have involvement using private funds, as the LRT system is owned and operated by the city. It needs to be managed by the city also. I would like to consult with council and hear what the citizens ideas are on raising additional capital for expansion. In regards to the regional transit board, I haven't looked into that concept yet. If you would like provide me with more details or examples on how a transit board has been effective elsewhere, I would be very happy to look at that and get back to you with my opinions.
              3. Maintaining schools, and public recreation is definitely a priority, especially when it comes to the inner city and the core. I would like to keep these items the resposibility of the city to maintain and provide for the citizens of Edmonton. The city core is in need of revitalization in all directions, and in all areas - residential and commercial. It's unfair to spend millions on one project when two blocks away you have houses that are boarded up and abandoned empty lots due to urban decay. We need to have balance and vision - those two things with a proper budget should allow the city to maintain it's core and effectively utilize places that would be otherwise left dormant.
              4. There is always room for improvment in all levels of government and government services, EPS not discluded. It is important that the mayor is influential and a strong proponent of making the EPS more effective in Edmonton. All sectors of government need to be transparent and proper stewards of taxpayer dollars.
              5. As mayor it's important to promote Edmonton externally to other cities, provinces, countries. But as mayor, I want to promote the best Edmonton possible. With that being said, I think it is vitally important that we address the items of concern to Edmontonians so that way we can show the best face to the people outside of city limits.
              6. I would like to see Edmonton be a place that people can live and raise a family knowing that they will be safe in any neighborhood at any time of day. That the tax dollars they invested in this city were spent responsibly, honestly, and with the taxpayers in mind first. I don't need a fancy building or monument as a legacy to feel that I have been succesful as mayor. I need to see that I have kept my word, been honest, operated with integrity and done my very best to make Edmonton a better place for all of it's citizens.

              Thanks for the questions, I hope I have answered them to your satisfaction.
              www.danformayor2010.com

              Comment


              • #8
                ^Thank you!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I posted a youtube video that is part rant, part question, about the LRT system here.
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j21GeICGrA
                  It's pretty long and I tended to repeat myself quite a bit, I realize now (I'm new to the vlogging stuff).

                  Essentially the question is why the LRT system is ALWAYS off schedule, why is there ALWAYS maintenance on the tracks/lines/trains/elevators/escalators, and why are the delays so frequent?? Edmontonians can't trust the LRT schedules and delays are rarely posted. How much money goes into this constant maintenance on the LRT?? Is this so frequent because the companies that do such jobs are inefficient?? Do you have a plan on making the LRT system in Edmonton more relaible??
                  Last edited by Moderator8; 02-10-2010, 11:53 PM. Reason: Removed inappropriate statement
                  We would share and listen and support and welcome, be propelled by passion not invest in outcomes. We would breathe and be charmed and amused by difference. -Alanis Morissette

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    1, 2. LRT - It is essential that the LRT lines are expanded from East to West in our city, and that student can utilize an effective transit system to get to class. I would like council to look into other options in regards to the expansion beyond the traditional way we have gone about it in the past. I'd like to look at all the most cost effective means of expansion as our terrains and communities are so various throughout the city. I am interested in the viability of elevated lines, and underground lines. Transit should not interfere with commuter traffic and should not take over neighborhoods where lines are being built. I'd like community input when we're approaching building the lines and I'd like to see them built responsibly - fiscally, as well as to the citizen. We need to be looking into the future when building new train lines - not just what is going to currently fill the need. As we have seen with the current south leg expansion, we are now going back to lengthen platforms, increase train cars, etc. If we build things right the first time, this can save a lot of time and resources. As mayor I'd like to encourage council to have foresight in planning for many years to come, and not just to the next election.
                    3. There's always room for improvement in any department within the city. Transit of course, being one of them. I'd like to see safety measures taken more seriously - our ETS drivers need to feel safe as well as the passengers. We need to increase peace officers, and increase their authority. We need to increase operating hours - there are many people in this city who work odd shifts and night shifts, and they too could be utilizing the transit system. There is also a need for more direct busing services - speed specials that take passengers in numbers from one location straight to another. This could also be helpful until further LRT lines are made.
                    4. Cycling in our city has been increasing dramatically over the last 10-15 years. There is a plan in place to provide a city-wide network of bike paths and systems, called the Bicycle Transportation Plan. The total cost for 500kms of bikeways costs less than one overpass. I believe that if there were more infrastructure to allow for safe and effective bike use, this would alleviate some of the strain on our commuter traffic system and would make for a cleaner more sustainable Edmonton. As mayor, I'd encourage council to complete the construction of such a bikeway system to encourage more riders.
                    5, 6, 8. Redeveloping older neighborhoods is essential to combatting urban sprawl. However, this is a sensitive subject for those who are in older communities and like their quiet nature, and possibly have been there for many many years. The solution isn't always rewriting the design and history of a neighborhood, but embracing new ideas into the current landscape. I think that the zoning needs to be better integrated with the existing community, in that high density redevelopments aren't always the answer. When it comes to schools in older neighborhoods, sometimes a slightly higher density can be necessary to provide the families required to keep schools open. People today are having less kids per family, and therefore, more families are needed to fill the school classrooms. We could also look into specializing older schools to better fit the neighborhood - things such as special needs programs, multi-cultural programs, sports programs, specific educational programs. When it comes to redeveloping, I believe that we need to be sensitive to current residents, while still allowing a feasible investment for developers. Often a community can greatly benefit from what a developer has to offer, such as new commercial space, recreational space, park space, etc. Every development and community is different and needs to be looked at individually.
                    7. The current council's initiative on ending homelessness in 10 years is noble, but not altogether realistic. As our city grows, there will always be people that move in and out of the city. Everyone has free will, and we cannot control their unwise decisions or unfortunate circumstances that may result in homelessness. As a city, we need to be assisting these people, and not enabling them. We should be working closely with charitable organizations to ensure that options are in place for people who need help. I have volunteered many hours at Hope Mission downtown, and it distresses me to see the number of people who are hungry, cold, and out on the street. I believe we should be tackling needs before wants. More city resources need to be going into assisting the homeless. It bothers me to be downtown and see a beautiful new multi million dollar building, while on the corner is 3 men huddled up begging for change. I believe the arts play a vital role in our community, and Edmonton was long overdue for a new center. However, I think we need to take a long look at our priorities before we commit to such a large financial undertaking.
                    9. When I say the airport is an issue that matters to the majority of Edmontonians, I did not mean that it matters that it is open. There are just a many people that feel very strongly the airport should be closed. My statement is not based on the signatures gathered by Envision Edmonton, but based on citizens that I've spoken with personally even before signatures were being gathered. I believe that because a plebiscite was held in the past, in order to responsibly move on from that, another one should be held, regardless of the outcome. This is a large enough issue that needs to be dealt with fairly with all Edmontonians.
                    10. My vision for Edmonton as mayor would be to see a thriving downtown core and business community, strong communities that work together and with police to combat crime in their neighborhoods, and a system of infrastructure that runs smoothly to benefit all citizens. I would like to see more focus on the city budget and planning to create a sustainable Edmonton that creates not just for what fits today, but what will work in the coming years.
                    Thank you for your questions, I hope I have answered them to your satisfaction.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Winter Plan - Edmonton is a winter city and it is about time that we handle our snow removal like a winter city. We should be pros at removing snow and maintaining our roads. But the sad reality is that we are not. Our sidewalks and streets are falling apart all over the city and we have a huge job ahead to repair them due to a lack of proper maintenance. Infrastructure and safety should be our first two concerns as a city before anything. As Mayor I plan to work with council to make sure we put a strategic plan and realistic winter budget in place to be a leader in dealing with winter weather and winter roadways. We need to look at other cities and see what best practices we can introduce to Edmonton but also see what best practices we can improve to be a leader that other cities will look to as the example. Winter comes every year in our city and we should be ready for it every year not crippled by it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Mr. Dromarsky,
                        In this winter plan you mention infrastructure and safety while specifically targeting maintaining city function during winter.

                        Of that, what proirity do you place on roadway infrastructure and what priority do you place on public transit infrastructure?

                        Would it be cost effective for the city to concentrate on making public transit more accessible and more available with shorter wait times particularly during major snow storms in order to allow people to get to their work places in time while reducing roadway use and risk of injury collisions?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Dan,

                          What are your feelings about the Capital Region Board? Is there enough being done here, or do we need to further look towards a better way to coordinate our regional land use framework?

                          http://www.capitalregionboard.ab.ca/
                          Last edited by Medwards; 10-10-2010, 05:30 PM.
                          A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            1. LRT & Transit: While we continue to move towards LRT expansion, we should be looking at extending hours and the use of more express buses in order to effectively move people throughout the city. In talking with transit users, the idea of extending service hours has been received well - most people have social lives that they would like to use public transit for, not just during business hours. Public transit growth needs to be prioritized and done in the approach of a gradual ongoing process. If too much is attempted at once, you get poor planning and over spending which creates an unbalanced budget. That being said, it's important to allocate enough money in the original budget so as to keep our costs on track and not out of control because we haven't properly accounted for the cost of updating the transit system. There are many areas of the city budget that can be tweaked in order to allocate for transit expansion. In the same way that we need to be wise in our budget planning, we also need to make sure that contractors are being held accountable for their contracts in regards to budget and time frames.
                            2. ECCA: It's interesting to note that there have been several reports on how the city could benefit from closing the airport, but it is difficult to find one stating the benefits of it remaining open. We have to look at all the options of what the land will look like without the airport and how we can best use it to benefit the citizens of Edmonton. It's not just about the vision that the mayor or council may have, but it should be a shared vision that we create with the citizens input. There is nothing set in stone in my mind in regards to a design for the airport lands should the airport be closed, as I feel so strongly that the airport is vital to our community and should remain open.
                            3. Our existing park system is vital to our citizens and I want to make sure it is kept clean, safe and usable for all Edmontonians. I would like to see upgrading done to the path and trail systems throughout the river valley. I would also like to see it be more appealing to families, in upgrading/replacing and creating new playgrounds. I think the city can do a better job to encourage the usage of our parks along the river valley - for organizations, events, etc. Edmonton is unparalleled in the beauty of our river valley and pathway system, and it needs to stay that way.
                            Thank you for your questions. I hope I have answered them to your satisfaction.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Major Issues/Plebiscite:
                              I would like to use secure online voting as a way to encourage the use of plebiscites at a fraction of the cost of traditional polling booths. I believe consulting citizens whether it be through forums, surveys or plebiscites is a crucial role of anyone holding office. All citizens should have the opportunity to have their voice heard, not just a select group of "consultants". I would define a major issue as something that is city-wide, affecting each and every Edmontonian. If the issue would affect citizens as shareholders, the shareholders need to have a say. (ie. the selling of city assets) Any issue that comes up that produces a substantial outcry from citizens would also fit my criteria as a major issue. If there is a past issue that has been resolved through plebiscite and now needs revisiting, I feel another plebiscite is necessary to check on how the public's wishes have or have not changed.
                              Thank you for your question. I hope I have answered it to your satisfaction.

                              Comment

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